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5 Data-Driven Tips to Maximize Twitch Campaign Results

Introducing a new video game into the market can be a challenge, and Twitch, with its massive gaming community, offers a unique platform to increase game's popularity. Twitch, which sees over 35 million visitors and 1.94 million active users daily, is the perfect place to promote a game for a small indie developer or a large game studio. 

However, publishers should be aware that introducing a new game to a streamer's usual lineup can lead to a decrease in their average concurrent viewers (ccv). Data indicates that when streamers switch from their regular game, there's an average drop of 32% in viewer numbers. 

The average CCV the game that a partner streams the most compared to the average CCV of all other games that a partner streams.

Despite this initial dip, there are effective strategies to not only recover lost viewership but potentially increase it. This article will provide you with strategies to maximize the impact of your Twitch influencer campaign.

1. Early Access

In the video game industry, Day 1 sales are incredibly important. They are not only a measure of immediate financial success but also an important factor in shaping the future trajectory of the game in terms of profitability, popularity, and ongoing support. To ensure high sales on day one, gaming companies use various tactics to generate excitement and support. This strategy is quite similar to how the movie industry focuses on the performance during the opening weekend.

One effective marketing approach in this context is to give Twitch streamers exclusive access to video games before they are officially released. By allowing streamers to showcase early gameplay, special features, or behind-the-scenes content, developers and publishers can generate significant buzz and anticipation for their games.

Starfield's Early Access Launch

Starfield's early access launch on Twitch was a huge success. Within just seven hours of its early access release, Starfield surged to the top of Twitch's most-viewed categories, attracting more than 180k viewers. The excitement kept growing, with the game's viewership peaking at 500,000, solidifying its position as Twitch's most-viewed game. Before the early access started, Bethesda's latest game was already getting a lot of attention.

Several prominent Twitch streamers accessed the game hours ahead of its public release, generating substantial hype and anticipation among the Twitch community. Well-known streamers such as Shroud, CohhCarnage, AnnieFuchsia, and Jabo have been sharing their gameplay, helping to make the game even more popular.

The game's huge universe, with over 1,000 planets, has been a big draw for streamers and viewers. Some streamers, like Jabo, have set big goals, like visiting every planet in the game. This has made more people interested in watching their channels.

When Starfield became playable, thousands of fans eagerly jumped into the game. Many fans were so excited that they even took a few days off work to immerse themselves in one of the biggest game launches of the year.

2. Twitch Drops

Twitch Drops are a feature that rewards viewers for watching live streams of specific games. When a viewer watches a stream that is participating in a Twitch Drop campaign, they can earn free in-game rewards. The game developer sets a required watch time for each Drop. As users watch a participating channel, their viewing time accumulates, counting towards earning the Drop and its associated reward.

Twitch Drops create a strong incentive for audiences to watch certain streams, leading to a sudden spike in interest for content related to a particular game. This can have a considerable impact on the Twitch ecosystem, sparking a chain reaction of organic coverage and engagement within the community. Streamers also benefit by connecting with viewers who might not have discovered their channel otherwise. Drops campaigns are listed on a dedicated page, where users can see all active Drops and the channels participating in them.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin Launch Campaign

Warhammer employed both strategies – early access, and Twitch Drops – for the launch of "Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin," and saw outstanding results.

In preparation for the game's release on November 17th, the team organized a special pre-launch event starting on November 10th. This event was designed to give fans an exciting sneak peek at the game, creating a buzz before the official launch. A central aspect of this event was the use of Twitch Drops. By watching their favorite streamers play "Realms of Ruin" on Twitch, viewers had the opportunity to earn unique rewards for their game profiles. This feature was accessible to viewers of any streamer who had Twitch Drops enabled, adding an extra layer of interaction and motivation for fans to engage. This approach not only heightened the anticipation for the game but also significantly enhanced viewer engagement on Twitch.

The campaign successfully garnered the attention of over 500 broadcasters and achieved a peak viewership of 25,961. 

A notable highlight was the performance of micro-influencers such as Lionhart and 2DKiri. Thanks to the strategic organization of the campaign, these influencers reached impressive peak viewerships of 11,586 and 11,414, respectively. This is a significant increase compared to their typical peak viewership numbers, which usually range between 300-600. This showcases the effective impact of the campaign's structure in boosting viewer engagement, particularly among smaller-scale streamers.

Lionhart's viewers during November 2023

2DKiri's viewers during November 2023

3. Partnering with the Right Influencers

As of October 2023, Twitch has about 6.89 million active streamers. With tens of thousands of channels broadcasting and about 3,000 games being streamed at any time, it's important to choose the right streamers for promoting your game. 

Look for influencers who genuinely enjoy and are enthusiastic about your game’s theme or mechanics. A useful strategy is to check their “recently streamed games” to see which games they have played and how their audience responded to them.

If your game has elements that appeal to a wide range of players, a variety streamer, known for exploring different types of games, can effectively showcase its diverse aspects. Variety streamers are ideal, if your goal is to reach a diverse audience rather than a niche market.

Data shows that diversity in game choices can influence a channel's popularity. According to the research, only 30.4% of streamers with an average concurrent viewership (CCV) of 100 to 10,000 stick to just one game, and half of the most popular channels play at least 10 different games.

Additionally, don't limit your focus to just the streamers with the largest audiences. Micro-influencers, though they may have smaller communities, can be incredibly valuable. Their recommendations are often more influential among their loyal and highly engaged followers.

4. Timing Your Streams

Twitch consistently has over 2.5 million viewers at any given moment, making the timing of your streams crucial for maximizing viewer reach. When planning streams to promote your game, it's important to analyze the viewing patterns for the specific game or category you're targeting. By doing so, you can schedule your sponsored streams to coincide with times when potential audiences are most active, thereby reaching the largest possible audience.

Historically, Sunday remains the most popular day for Twitch viewers, while Monday typically sees the lowest viewership. According to data from Hootsuite, the best time for streaming is between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST), which often aligns with peak viewership numbers. Twitchstats points out that the platform's peak viewing time is at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). In contrast, the lowest viewership occurs 12 hours later, at 4:00 a.m. EST.

To leverage these patterns, it's advisable to have larger channels stream during the high viewership window, capturing the maximum audience. Smaller channels can benefit from streaming between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. PST, a time when there's typically a drop in the number of live streams, offering less competition for viewers' attention.

Concurrent Viewers, TwitchTracker.com

It's worth noting an interesting point: the number of viewers on Twitch tends to increase faster than the number of streamers. This means that scheduling sponsored streams in the morning can be beneficial, as there will be more viewers and fewer competing streams.

Concurrent Channels and Viewers, TwitchTracker.com

Another useful strategy is to ask streamers to begin their streaming session with a different content before transitioning to the sponsored game. It's recommended that they stream something else for at least the first 30 minutes. This approach is based on the understanding that viewership typically starts off lower and gradually increases as viewers join the stream. By waiting for this initial 30-minute period to pass, the streamer can ensure a larger, more established audience for the sponsored content, maximizing the visibility and impact of your game on the platform.

5. Launching Events

Organizing special events like marathon streams or multiplayer sessions for a game's launch day is a highly effective way to draw in large audiences on Twitch. This method is successful because it creates excitement around the game, attracting both dedicated and casual viewers.

Marathon streams are particularly impactful in sustaining viewer engagement over extended periods. They typically offer diverse content and interactive elements, which keep the audience interested and involved. Additionally, these longer streaming sessions have a higher likelihood of trending on Twitch, thereby attracting a broader audience.

Involving popular streamers or well-known personalities in multiplayer sessions can significantly boost the event's impact. Such collaborations often draw the combined audiences of each participating streamer, substantially increasing overall viewership.

EVE Online PVP Battle Event

One of the longest-running MMORPGs, EVE Online hosts numerous events every year to stay relevant and 2022 was no exception. To drum up interest in a 20-year-old game, they hosted a massive PvP (player vs. player) battle with top streamer personalities. Streamers who had never played EVE Online hopped on and were given end-game equipment to participate in the event.

31 streamers were divided into six teams. Each team got its curator, who helped players to understand the core game mechanics and gameplay features. Each streamer broadcasted the EVE battle and preparations for it for an average of 3 hours, and all streams overall lasted for 193 hours.

The response was huge. Seven million people have seen this fight, EVE became the 6th most-watched game on Twitch during the event and received over 3,000 new downloads in the aftermath.

In conclusion, effectively launching a video game on Twitch involves a combination of strategic planning and understanding the platform's unique dynamics. By leveraging early access opportunities, utilizing features like Twitch Drops, selecting the right mix of streamers, timing your streams for maximum reach, and organizing engaging launch events, you can significantly boost your game's visibility and appeal. These tactics not only help in overcoming initial challenges, such as drops in viewer counts, but also play a crucial role in building a strong and enthusiastic community around your game.

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